It’s New Year’s Eve! Does the thought of another year make you feel a little apprehensive? For many of us, 2020 was hard. We faced a worldwide pandemic, racial unrest, economic instability, and any number of personal highs and lows. You have probably seen your share of uncertainty or insecurity. What can you do? Perhaps you’re asking the question: Can I trust God with this next year?
Here’s an image from which you can take a cue. God’s native language is song and he is constantly singing a song of love to you. It’s a song that calls us into a relationship of love with him. John, a disciple of Jesus, used the word ‘logos’ to describe Jesus. “The Word was made flesh and lived among us” (Jn 1:14). According to Pope Benedict XVI, the Logos is ‘self-communicating meaning’. Let me explain that.
Logos is ultimate meaning, the meaning of everything: the meaning behind it all, the reason behind it all, the logic behind it all. What is the logic behind the universe? What is the meaning of existence? That logic, meaning, beauty, truth, goodness, destiny, origin – the thing that makes it all make sense – even the most maddening of life’s circumstances. That logos/principle/reason behind it all, became flesh – to reveal in our flesh, the ultimate reason of it all.
Logos is self-communicating meaning. That meaning wants to communicate itself. That’s why ‘word’ is usually used as the translation for ‘logos’. I’m using words now to communicate what’s inside me to what’s inside you. What is inside me – a certain meaning/understanding of something – gets communicated and it goes into you. Word are how hearts share with each other. Words are communication of meaning. The Word is the communication of ultimate meaning, from God’s heart to your heart.
But God is not just speaking a word to us; God is singing to us, because song is the language of the heart. God’s native language is song and we have to tune into that song. Think of the old radios, where’d you’d have to tune or push that button to get to a station. You know, you’d hear all the static and then you’d finally catch the signal and you’d fine tune it, and you’d hear it clearly. This is an image of our spiritual life, where a lot of times it’s just static, because we haven’t fine-tuned our ears to hear what God is singing.
Our goal of course, must be to fine-tune that knob, to get the signal, so we can hear God singing to us. When we start with our circumstances & try to extract meaning from it, that’s static. So a key part of tuning into God’s song, is to turn from the ‘why’ question, which we tend to ruminate on and ground ourselves in the acceptance of ‘what’ is happening – both outside and within us. It’s in that quiet space of acceptance, that I can begin to listen and surrender to that specific song of love, that God is singing over me at this time.
It’s in that place that I get fresh perspective of my circumstances and can sense that God is present and actively working for my good, even in the most adverse circumstance – even when I don’t yet fully understand how. That place fills me with inner light and strength, even when relationships & situations are trying. And in that place, I find myself filled with hope in the person of Jesus, who promises to accompany me on the journey to a future, that is often unknown and can look very uncertain to me. A fresh song of gratitude & joy rises up from my own heart in this space and I am able to respond to his love with my own song of love.
Today is a time of endings, yes, but also beginnings. So as you approach the end of 2020 and anticipate the start of 2021, take some time to tune out the static and tune into God’s song of love for you. Let it serve as anchor at the end of an unsettled year and a practice that will serve you well in the experiences to come in the New Year.